Key Aspects of the Seventh Energy Transition and Its Point of Divergence and Mutually Acceptable International Economic Solutions for Russia
Keywords:renewable energy sources, hydrogen energy, renewable hydrogen, energy transition, hydrogen international cooperation, European Union, Russia, technological neutrality
AbstractIn this author’s view, current energy transition is the seventh one in human’s history. But it is the first one triggered from the demand-side by climatic considerations aimed at decrease of GHG emissions to reach their net-zero level. And it will not end up with another one dominant energy, as in the past, but with competitive energy mix of both renewable and non-renewable energies based on economic, ecologic & climatic considerations. EU decarbonisation is based on “renewable electricity plus decarbonized gases” political concept. Renewable hydrogen is politically predetermined choice in the EU (though within the distorted frame of reference, as this author proves) and hydrogen from natural gas is given only temporary future in the EU. But EU will not manage to produce all hydrogen needed domestically and looks for its import from neighboring states, including Russia. Two concepts of how to organize Russia-EU hydrogen cooperation are debated. EU/German concept is to produce green and blue hydrogen in Russia and to export it to the EU. This means through the existing Russia-EU gas transportation system which will predetermine its costly deep modernization up to full reconstruction/replacement. The author proves why this concept is counterproductive for Russia. He proposes alternative concept: to continue with natural gas supplies from Russia to the EU and to produce hydrogen in the “hydrogen valleys” inside the EU: in continental Europe – by pyrolysis (without CO2 emissions), and in the coastal areas of North-West Europe – also by methane steam reforming with CO2 capture and sequestration in the depleted fields in the North Sea.
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